Here are two quotes from LA Weekly‘s new interview with former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson about his new book Letters to Kurt:

“[Kurt and Courtney, the documentary] was made by somebody that is not a conscious person, or was not conscious when he made it. That movie was made in a tabloid manner, and I wasn’t interviewed for it. Same with the books, even sanctioned biographies, they never interviewed me. They never have the full story. They’ve never reached out to me. And I have not talked about any of that to the press.”

“There’s that cartoon side of [Courtney Love] that is intimidating, but deep down inside there is a sweet little kitten. I got to see that, I was lucky enough to see that when we dated. I got to see a lot of that side of her that people don’t know anymore.”


Kristin sent me this:

Hi, I was just wondering if you would consider covering my facebook page “Spread the word of good newer grunge bands” on your site, so that people can start to realize grunge never died, as so far there are over 290 bands, it’s just that people have to start realizing that and looking for the bands, and it would help a ton of really great bands get more support, so people can stop worrying about the mainstream music of today and start to focus on the really great underground, and maybe make that the mainstream one day. I’ve noticed you had a few stories about Noiseheads, which I actually found out about from someone posting them on my page. Thanks.

Kristin also sent me some links to some new bands, here are a few songs.

Dinosaur Pile Up- Mona Lisa

Treetones- Hell-O

Cable35- Saturated

Here’s a rough little demo I myself (Brett) recorded on my iPhone called “Great Escape.” I’m a singer first, still working on getting better on guitar! Then I can work out the music to all my heavy melodies…


Lord oh could I have a reason
Why she never really cared
Why you ever ask a meaning
Are you ever really scared
Desire fills the lonely cravings
Garden’s full of bitter blood
Feign a smile to hide what’s real now
Hard to pretend there’s something there
Oh now can you change the season
This winter’s lasted everlong
Blissful times they are fleeting
Every day it feels the same
You aren’t a man, you are the man I used to be (x2)
I don’t need friends until the end (x5)
Chase the bottle have no reason
We always seek the great escape
Scared to feel what are you thinking
You always say it’s for the pain
A thousand lies control the sickness
Just convey what’s in your soul
Feign a smile to hide what’s real now
Hard to pretend there’s something there
Lord oh could I have a reason
Why she never really cared
Why you ever ask a meaning
Are you ever really scared?
You aren’t a man, you are the man I used to be (x2)
I don’t need friends until the end (x5)



To this day there is no clear reason why Alice in Chains, especially with their style of music, ever got on the Clash of the Titans bill. Slayer and Anthrax wanted the up and coming Texans Pantera to open the show. Certainly the success of the brooding and eerie Man in the Box video on constant MTV rotation helped, and the band had just finished a European tour with co-headliners Megadeth. What was certain is that the bill did need an opening act after original choice Death Angel had to pull out after a near fatal tour bus accident. Fate had certainly dealt an ace to Alice, who would now be part of one of the biggest and extravagant tours of its time. The North American leg of the tour would take in 49 shows in just 59 days, across 26 states plus two shows in Canada, and playing to an estimated half a million fans.

Alice in Chains were viewed as outsiders on the tour. They were not invited to speak at the official press conference, but still got a mention when a journalist asked Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson, “Who’s gonna pay the damage bill at the end of the night?”. Ellefson replied, without hesitation, “Alice in Chains, the new guys”, followed by roars of laughter.  Almost all the ticket stubs failed to mention that they were on the bill and you needed Supermanesque vision to see their name on the tour shirts.

The tour kicked off on May 16, 1991 at the 20,000 plus capacity Dallas Starplex, an awe inspiring venue to begin the tour, especially for Alice In Chains who had never played to a crowd that large. And the chants by the metal clad already pissed up thrash crowd were for Slayer, as Alice took to the stage just after half past seven.  Layne Staley stood by the microphone and stared at the crowd below him. “Slayer, Slayer, Slayer,” was the response.  Staley continued to stare until Mike Starr broke the uneasiness with the opening bass line to Would?   The choice of the opener spoke volumes about Alice’s attitude. Not even the most diehard fan of the band at the Starplex that night (there were few and far between) could have known the song. It certainly was not from the band’s debut album, and given the night that would follow it was not even the band’s heaviest track. Next up was Real Thing, seamlessly followed by Put You Down, two more tracks that only tested the crowd’s patience. Some objects were thrown, a few boos were heard but by the time they kicked into We Die Young and set finale Man in the Box, they had tamed the rowdy Texas crowd. When the band left the stage on that breezy hazy summer’s night in Dallas, they had won over at least some of the revelers.

Alice had also secured respect from the other bands on the tour. Dave Mustaine had taken them under his wing, though Staley was more inclined to hang out with Satan’s friends, Slayer. The fourth stop on the tour took the Titans to Houston, nobody could of guessed that a decade later that very same venue ‘The Summit’ would be converted into a house of worship.

In New Mexico, Megadeth, now known by Alice as ‘Megabrother’, entertained them to an animal porn video starring a pig, Staley looked stunned and embarrassed, but whatever the influence the band brought home the bacon. That night during We Die Young, Alice in Chains had created a moshpit. Two days later on May 24th, Mustaine paid for the band to skydive. The Megadeth singer recalled how he had not seen Layne happier, after he landed he stated that Layne was, “almost childlike”. A few hours later in San Diego the band played their most intense and electrifying show of the tour.

When they hit their hometown, Alice threw Love Hate Love onto the set list at the request of Staley. After fourteen shows in sixteen days the band were in Salt Lake City, and there they filmed their third video: Sea of Sorrow. Known to fans as the ‘girlfriends’ video, all of the women in the video were local extras.  Paul Rachman, who had directed the band’s breakthrough video Man in the Box, was again hired to work the magic. Rachman explains.  “Some of them wanted their girlfriends in the video, they insisted. But some did not have girlfriends at the time so we had to cast some in Salt Lake City. My original concept did not have girlfriends, and so on. Also ‘something’ was going on between Layne and Demri at the time so we couldn’t get her there.”

Rachman was also against the idea of having to use different crew and go ‘on location’ to Salt Lake City.  “The video shoot was hectic! The studio insisted that I work on the road because the band were on the ‘Clash of the Titans’ tour. They then wanted to shoot on a stage in Seattle, that was the idea. The concept was very difficult and I really wanted to do it in Hollywood with the best crew I could have. But the label pushed me to go out to Salt Lake City and we had so many technical and crew problems it was hell. Salt Lake City is Mormon country and they had all these evil rock shows out at a speedway right on the outskirts of town. I finally met the band and we shot the video, wait for it, right on the Donny and Marie Osmond sound stages!”

After the video shoot the band did an in store signing session for a few lucky fans and then headed back, with no break, onto the Titans tour. The next show would go down as one of AIC’s most memorable shows ever. To this very day, if you were to ask Jerry Cantrell about the Clash of the Titans tour, the response is always ‘Red Rocks.’ The Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a majestic place. The performing stage for artists is set right in the middle of inward and outward natural rocks, and when the sun sets right it can feel like paradise. That night though Alice were in anything but. The crowd, filled with bikers and drunks, were clearly not there for Seattle’s new Grunge rockers. A torrent of crushed cans were thrown at the band, a reused ‘piss’ bottle container was exchanged three times between Staley and the crowd, and some in the front even threatened to ‘meet’ the band after the show. Whilst many bands would have walked, Alice stayed. They soldiered on until the set was done, and when they finally did leave the venue they were confronted by a few Slayer fans, who had nothing but respect for the young rockers for daring to share a stage with their heroes. To say this was a turning point in the bands self survival is an understatement.

In Detroit two weeks later, Staley felt so confident after AIC’s set that he roamed around with other fans in the venue. It was no wonder that some attendees were unfamiliar with the group when they hit Virginia, when even the local music writer knew little about them. Apparently Alice’s highlight was the song ‘Believe the Freak’.

For the July 4th show in Weedsport, New York there was triple security but that didn’t stop fireworks being let off in general admission. Even the mighty Madison Square Garden felt the force of the tour when over 200 seats were ripped and then piled up so fans could enjoy the show. The rest of the tour went fine until the second from last show in Florida, where Layne Staley stage dived head first in order to get a trouble maker chucked out the venue.

Layne Staley had it all; he had the looks and talent to believably be on the cover of RIP and Teen magazine in the same week.  In the summer of 1991 he was in his absolute prime.  That eventful summer the innocence and rawness of Staley was there for all to see, he engulfed the band within it. The Clash of the Titans tour made them stronger and whilst the lyrics for their next studio album were influenced by Staley’s personal struggles, there could be little doubt that the departure of sound from Facelift to Dirt was inspired that summer by this tour and the band’s they met on it.


PART 1: Alice In Chains’ Early Years

PART 2: Clash of the Titans Tour

PART 3: The Sap Sessions

PART 4: Lollapalooza 1993

PART 5: Mad Season

PART 6: The Final Years


Fender Squier Affinity Series Telecaster
Special Electric Guitar in Butterscotch Blonde

Autographed by
Star Anna & The Laughing Dogs, Kim Virant, Shelby Earl, +

This limited-run axe is a Fender-designed honey. It features the most famous of all Tele finishes atop an alder body joined to the rock-solid bolt-on maple neck with maple fretboard and dot inlays. Also has a 25-1/2″ scale, medium-jumbo frets, and 2 single-coil pickups.

  • Features Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • 25-1/2″ scale
  • Medium-jumbo frets
  • 2 single-coils
The guitar is signed by

  • Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)
  • Star Anna & The Laughing Dogs
  • Kim Virant
  • Shelby Earl
  • Jeff Rouse (Loaded)
  • Gary Westlake

The guitar retail price MSRP is $279.99.

The guitar was generously donated by Guitar Center in Seattle, WA courtesy of the store manager Dane Luna.
The donation was facilitated by Seattle volunteer Lisette Terry.

This is a charity auction to raise money for Advocacy for Patients With Chronic Illness in conjunction with the Team McCready Global event on March 24, 2012. Team McCready is a division of the Wishlist.

A letter of authenticity can be provided upon request by the Wishlist Foundation.


Here’s an excerpt from AdelaideNow’s new interview with Mark Lanegan:

The song Bleeding Muddy Water has a foreboding intensity that can only come from a Lanegan joint. “I tried to achieve the same thing with Bleeding Muddy Water as I do to any song – I make a piece of music, then I try to add to that piece of music once I know what I’m doing with the words and one that fits with the record,” Lanegan says.

“Above all I try and write a song I think I’d listen to and enjoy if I was listening to music and one that I enjoy playing live. I’d like to write with Brian Eno – it probably won’t happen, but anything’s possible. He’s a zen genius.”


Producer Kerry Brown, who worked a lot with the Smashing Pumpkins the 90’s and recent years, has posted a comment on Hipsters United about Billy Corgan, who he had a falling out with.  Corgan and Brown not only worked together, but they were very close friends until a recent falling out.  Brown was also married to former Smashing Pumpkins bassist D’arcy in the 90’s. Here’s the comment:

Oh, 9.! – I Just happened to poke my head in here and I want to clear something up. I did not mix a single song on Teargarden. The few songs that I did mix Billy killed – he said they “sounded too radio” The last studio track that I produced and mixed for SP was Superchrist and a handful of the remixes for the EMI reissues, the same songs that I originally produced and mixed back in the 90′s. TBK songs not mixed by me and I would have not mixed them the way that they turned out. It’s not my style ,also didn’t produce those songs as Mr. Billy listens to no one now. It’s all BC my friend. Love it or Hate it… it’s his ship.


EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution has announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Martha’s Music to release the highly anticipated album from THE SMASHING PUMPKINS entitled OCEANIA on June 19th, 2012.  The agreement covers the world excluding Canada, Brazil and Australia.

Produced by THE SMASHING PUMPKINS’ frontman Billy Corgan, OCEANIA is an intense and dynamic offering that will appeal to new and existing fans of THE SMASHING PUMPKINS alike.  OCEANIA, the band’s 7th studio record, is “an album within an album,” part of their 44-song work-in-progress TEARGARDEN BY KALEIDYSCOPE.

Peter Katsis, manager of SMASHING PUMPKINS for Prospect Park, added: “The Smashing Pumpkins created Oceania as an album experience, and it is intended for the process of the release to follow a path of inclusion, so that best efforts are made for all the fans hear it at the same time as press or radio. We were excited to find partners in EMI Label Services that were equally passionate about the plan for the album release as well as being huge fans of the Pumpkins.”

EMI’s relationship with THE SMASHING PUMPKINS dates back more than 20 years, to the release of Gish in 1991. That album was reissued this past November along with 1993’s Siamese DreamMike Harris EVP/GM EMI Label Services / Caroline distribution said: “We are thrilled to extend the long-term partnership between The Smashing Pumpkins and EMI with the release of Oceania.  Everybody at EMI Label Services is looking forward to working closely with Billy and the band to help them deliver their vision and their music to fans around the world.”

THE SMASHING PUMPKINS have created one of the most acclaimed bodies of work in musical history having sold more than 30 million albums, and won multiple Grammy awards in the process.  Formed in Chicago in 1988, they released Gish, their influential and platinum debut in 1991, which was followed by albums including the nine-time platinum Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness and the four-time platinum Siamese Dream, as well as the platinum certified 1998 album Adore.   The pivotal group’s many hits defined the alternative music era and continue to resonate on modern rock radio, influencing a whole new generation.   The PUMPKINS returned in 2007 with their acclaimed sixth album Zeitgeist.  They have since remained on the cutting edge of music and technology with various online releases.


A new solo song from Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland “Breath” will appear on The Avengers’ soundtrack, which also featured a new Soundgarden song “Live to Rise.”

Scott’s done a lot of soundtrack work over the years, back in the 90’s he did songs for Tank Girl, Great Expectations, and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.  A few years ago he did a song for the film Bug.

Stone Temple Pilots have only done one song for a soundtrack, “Big Empty” on The Crow soundtrack in 1994.  They almost had the lead single off of Spiderman, but lost out to Nickelback.  The song they had up for consideration was “All In The Suit That You Wear.”


Soundgarden are set to headline Hard Rock Calling, below is ticket information:

Soundgarden tickets go on presale this Thursday at 9am, and general sale on Friday at 9am. Register for the presale here!

A ticket to spend the day at Hard Rock Calling and see Soundgarden headline on Friday July 13th is £55.75*.

*includes ticket price and service fees, but does not include delivery charges.



September 10th, 1989, the weather heading into San Jose, California is mild for the time. Members of the Seattle band Alice in Chains are on there way to play the small Cactus Club, in support of another Seattle band Mother Love Bone. The show will mark only their second ever directly outside of the Washington area, their first last night in San Francisco went as well as they could ever wish. Jerry, Sean, Mike and Layne are discussing the setlist for tonight’s show. With an allocated slot of just under 30 minutes it has to be short and sweet. Most of the material will appear on the as yet unamed Facelift album, and the band make the easy choice to open up with Real Thing. Easy choice, because Real Thing has become a staple opener on their recent tours.

Singer Layne Staley looks a tad tired. Perhaps he is thinking of earlier in the tour when he asked the singer of Mother Love Bone, Andrew Wood to join him on stage for a duet. Wood standing by the side of the stage, pretended he could not understand what Layne was saying, and departed back stage. The truth emerged in later years that Wood did not care for the song that Layne was ready to sing and could not think of a better excuse.

Ken Deans, Alice in Chains first manager recalls the boredom that could envelope the band and Layne Staley during long trips to each venue. “On the early short tours I would act as the tour manager and promoter. We all agreed on a name for the tour which we called ‘The Shitty Cities Tour’. Driving from town to town endlessly it seemed and there was Layne always ready to chime in with a joke or retort.”

Deans was attracted to the young band who were quickly labelled KinderGarden by locals in reference to SoundGarden. “Sometime in August 1987, a guy called Randy Hauser approached me about this band. Now back then they were called Diamond Lie. And Randy was working with them. At the time he wanted a co-manager who could help him get the band a deal. I went to see them play, and right off the bat I knew that Alice in Chains was going to be an important factor in music, it was exactly the same way I knew that Mother Love Bone was the real thing. It’s a simple test for me, and that is that it has to be ‘real’. There were no pretentions with Alice, they are what they are. That is the true measure of a great artist and what sets them apart from the pack. After, we sat down we didn’t even have a formal contract nothing like that. It was a handshake and friendship commitment. I took 15% and we all promised ourselves that we would work our asses off to make it happen.”

When Alice in Chains took to the stage of the Cactus Club just after 8PM they did indeed open with Real Thing, nine songs later and killing the set with a mind blowing version of Love Hate Love it was all over and the band could party in Los Angeles for a few days after with Mother Love Bone, before heading back home. By now Alice in Chains were managed by Kelly Curtis and Susan Silver. Deans explains. “I left in the summer of 1989. Me and Kelly Curtis were partners when I started working for Alice. A few months before we gave Susan Silver some office space, at first for free so she could manage her band at the time, Soundgarden. I liked Susan a lot and thought she had such a great passion not only for the business but for the music as well. Kelly Curtis is a great promoter, but you know never had the ear for music, lets say that I don’t think he would disagree. So I asked Susan to take over my role and help protect them in their future. Kelly Curtis told me at the time that he didn’t think they would make it, but he wanted to keep his hands on Jerry Cantrell as he thought of him as the bands main asset.”

Two years later and Alice in Chains were one of the most talked about ‘new’ bands in America, when the video for Man in the Box swarmed all over MTV. And whilst Jerry Cantrell was and still remains a huge asset to the band, Alice’s soul belonged to the voice and charisma of their frontman, Layne Staley.

“I remember the Roller Rink showcase show in Lynnwood,” recalls Deans. The label guys were all there in attendence and Layne came out on stage sporting a foot high mohawk. It freaked them out, but it was true Staley humor and bravado at the same time. Layne was starting to discover how special he was, as were the band. Like most great artists, Layne was a pretty shy and humble guy. His sense of humor along with Sean Kinney was sharp and dry. I have often thought that Layne’s intelligence and insight were as much a curse as an asset. Layne thought deeply about social issues and sometimes that can be an unbearable burden. As the fame grew he became more reclusive. But those early days were amazing to be around this band and everything that was happening in Seattle. I can honestly say that when we were making those first Alice in Chains demos at London Bridge Studios that it was one of the greatest musical moments of my life. They were four rock musicians that had the dream and were following and living it every moment of their lives. Every moment. They were dedicated to the studio.”


PART 1: Alice In Chains’ Early Years

PART 2: Clash of the Titans Tour

PART 3: The Sap Sessions

PART 4: Lollapalooza 1993

PART 5: Mad Season

PART 6: The Final Years